Using Vault as a Development CA

Often when developing or testing some code, I need (or want) to use SSL, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to use Vault. However, it gets pretty annoying having to generate a new CA for each project, and import the CA cert into windows (less painful in Linux, but still annoying), especially as I forget which cert is in use, and accidentally clean up the wrong ones....

August 25, 2019 · 4 min

Architecture Decision Records

This is a text version of a short talk (affectionately known as a “Coffee Bag”) I gave at work this week, on Architecture Design Records. You can see the slides here, but there isn’t a recording available, unfortunately. It should be noted; these are not to replace full architecture diagrams; you should definitely still write C4 Models to cover the overall architecture. ADRs are for the details, such as serializer formats, convention-over-configuration details, number precisions for timings, or which metrics library is used and why....

June 29, 2019 · 8 min

Canary Routing with Traefik in Nomad

I wanted to implement canary routing for some HTTP services deployed via Nomad the other day, but rather than having the traffic split by weighting to the containers, I wanted to direct the traffic based on a header. My first choice of tech was to use Fabio, but it only supports routing by URL prefix, and additionally with a route weight. While I was at JustDevOps in Poland, I heard about another router/loadbalancer which worked in a similar way to Fabio: Traefik....

June 23, 2019 · 8 min

Feature Toggles: Reducing Coupling

One of the points I make in my Feature Toggles talk is that you shouldn’t be querying a toggle’s status all over your codebase. Ideally, each toggle gets checked in as few places as possible - preferably only one place. The advantage of doing this is that very little of your codebase needs to be coupled to the toggles (either the toggle itself or the library/system for managing toggles itself)....

June 11, 2019 · 6 min

Feature Toggles: Branch by Abstraction

Recently, I was asked if I could provide an example of Branch By Abstraction when dealing with feature toggles. As this has come up a few times, I thought a blog post would be a good idea so I can refer others to it later too. The Context As usual, this is some kind of backend (micro)service, and it will send email messages somehow. We will start with two implementations of message sending: the “current” version; which is synchronous, and a “new” version; which is async....

June 3, 2019 · 4 min

Configuring Consul DNS Forwarding in Alpine Linux

DEPRECATED - This has a race condition! Please see this post for an updated version which works! Following on from the post the other day on setting up DNS forwarding to Consul with SystemD, I wanted also to show how to get Consul up and running under Alpine Linux, as it’s a little more awkward in some respects. To start with, I am going to setup Consul as a service - I didn’t do this in the Ubuntu version, as there are plenty of useful articles about that already, but that is not the case with Alpine....

May 31, 2019 · 4 min

Configuring Consul DNS Forwarding in Ubuntu 16.04

DEPRECATED - This doesn’t work properly Please see this post for an updated version which works! One of the advantages of using Consul for service discovery is that besides an HTTP API, you can also query it by DNS. The DNS server is listening on port 8600 by default, and you can query both A records or SRV records from it. SRV records are useful as they contain additional properties (priority, weight and port), and you can get multiple records back from a single query, letting you do load balancing client side:...

May 29, 2019 · 4 min

Running a Secure RabbitMQ Cluster in Nomad

Last time I wrote about running a RabbitMQ cluster in Nomad, one of the main pieces of feedback I received was about the (lack) of security of the setup, so I decided to revisit this, and write about how to launch as secure RabbitMQ node in Nomad. The things I want to cover are: Username and Password for the management UI Secure value for the Erlang Cookie SSL for Management and AMQP As usual, the demo repository with all the code is available if you’d rather just jump into that....

April 6, 2019 · 9 min

Hyper-V, Docker, and Networking Drama

I had a major problem a few hours before giving my Nomad: Kubernetes Without the Complexity talk this morning: the demo stopped working. Now, the first thing to note is the entire setup of the demo is scripted, and the scripts hadn’t changed. The only thing I had done was restart the machine, and now things were breaking. The Symptoms A docker container started inside the guest VMs with a port mapped to the machine’s public IP wasn’t resolvable outside the host....

March 22, 2019 · 3 min

RabbitMQ clustering with Consul in Nomad

Update If you want a secure version of this cluster, see Running a Secure RabbitMQ Cluster in Nomad. RabbitMQ is the centre of a lot of micros service architectures, and while you can cluster it manually, it is a lot easier to use some of the auto clustering plugins, such as AWS (EC2), Consul, Etcd, or Kubernetes. As I like to use Nomad for container orchestration, I thought it would be a good idea to show how to cluster RabbitMQ when it is running in a Docker container, on an unknown host (i....

January 28, 2019 · 9 min